MANILA, Philippines – After an impressive rookie year, National University's (NU) Jennifer Nierva has set a lofty target for herself as a sophomore – the Best Libero award.
With the graduation of University of the East ace Kath Arado after Season 81, the race for the award is wide open, and Nierva is determined to contend for it.
"I want to be the Best Libero of Season 82," Nierva declared.
She is well aware that making such a statement can be controversial.
"I know na hindi siya magiging madali, and I know na partly hindi siya right to think about those individual awards," she acknowledged.
Nierva also stressed that she is still all about the team, even as she sets her sights on the top individual award for her position.
"Siyempre, bilang athlete, it's a self-motivation na rin as well, na every time na maglalaro ka, it's for your team and for yourself as well," she explained of her goal.
"Kasi, you worked hard for it, so 'yun na lang din 'yung ibibigay mo para sa sarili mo. Self-achievement," she added.
Nierva had notable numbers as a rookie. She ranked second in the league in receiving, with a 50.62% efficiency, just behind Arado. She ranked fourth in digging, with an average of 5.96 digs per set.
In NU's second win of Season 81 – a thrilling five-setter against University of the Philippines – Nierva earned Player of the Game honors with 26 digs and 29 receptions.
"It's all about the intentions pa din talaga," Nierva said. "My intention ko talaga is to become a champion, and second na 'yung being the Best Libero, kasi walang makakatapat sa pagiging champion, 'di ba."
Nierva will anchor the floor defense of an NU team that is seeking to improve upon last season's 4-10 finish.
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